Hello. I am a writer, interested in sharing knowledge involving the Bible, anything relating to faith, magick, psychology, and all things esoteric.
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An exercise (or challenge) in state-embodiment: Gratitude.
To those who are open to the experience, do this, if you will. This is an attempt at invoking a mind-body state of gratitude from the Gospel narrative of Jesus Christ. Narratives are key to experiencing and shifting mental states, and the mental state of gratitude can have profound effects on the brain-heart-body connection.
So for this exercise, I wish to challenge believers and non-believers alike to invoke and embody a state of emotional gratitude from the Gospel narrative.
Set aside your rational mind for a moment, and think of the narrative of Jesus Christ, who is the Word incarnate, and Son of God. This is an exercise in mental flexibility; the ability to temporarily and nonjudgmentally experience a belief, which you may or may not personally hold. You unconsciously do this anytime get absorbed into a good movie or book. Our aim here is to consciously exercise this ability.
Take a moment, sit down, slow your breathing to a comfortable pace. Breath in and out the nose. Take all the time you need to enter a more restful state.
Now, when your ready, with a nonjudgmental attitude of curiocity, call to mind Jesus and His message: To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
Think of how mutually empowering that message might have been to the children of Israel, and how threatening it was to the scribes and Pharisees, and all powers beyond them.
Remember the liberation and healing that Jesus spread, and remember the conspiracy that was formulated against Him.
Remember the innocent man who was put to death on the cross, and the false sense of victory that the conspirators shared.
Realize now that as Jesus was dying, our sins...your sins pierced His flesh and He took them away. In the process, we become entangled with Him, and can rise again with Him from our spiritual death, by faith, if we so choose to believe unto the Son of God.
He did just as He promised. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt in three days (His resurrection).
When you consider the details of this narrative, from a nonjudgmental attitude, what emotions do you feel? What sensations do they stir in your body?
Do you feel a sense of gratitude? If not, can you simply call it up and patiently see if it arises?
This message is geared primarily towards Christians, since I happen to be a believer in Christ, but if you believe yourself to be living a Spirit filled life, then take from it what you will.
Imagine for a moment a house built on a hill in an enchanted forest. The occupants of this house are good people. They respect the land and the natural order of the general habitat. They live off of the land and give back when they can. There is a relationship of mutual love and respect between the household and the forest life. Things are good.
Then one day, the occupants of the house move out, and the new people move in, who lack respect for the very environment upon which they depend. They pollute the land, overhunt the wildlife, treat the animals with cruelty, and simply do not appreciate what they have, at all. This goes on to the point that the wildlife have simply moved on to a more hospitable environment.
Now the locals warned these people constantly, to respect the forest, lest the forest takes back its blessings, but being the fools they are, the new occupants laugh it off.
So one day, the trees conspire together: "Let us uproot ourselves the next time the rains come at mid-night and the soil becomes soft. Together we shall find a new home, where the land is respected, and the soil is good to our roots."
Thus the trees agree and wait for the opportune moment, and finally, the rainstorms come at mid-night with loud, terrible thunder. It softens the soil so that their roots easily free themselves, and the thunder covers the march of the enchanted trees, while the fools sleep in their drunkenness. The trees have freed themselves, and the Spirit has empowered their roots to become as legs, so that they could find a new home.
The forest has withdrawn its already alienated blessings, and with the tree roots no longer there to hold the earth together, the rains wash the fools and their house of vanities away...no one around to witness the calamity, no one to remember the fools who thought they owned the world.
For anyone who lives a Spirit filled life, seeking first the righteousness of God, you are the trees. As God blesses you, you grow strong and you share your blessings with your environment. Your branches provide shade to the wildlife, and homes to squirrels and birds. Your roots, together with the roots of the other trees hold the ground together, so that land dwellers can build their homes in stability.
The moral of the story: The world needs the righteous man more than the righteous man needs the world. Do not cast your pearls to the swine, when you know from experience that it will be trampled. All you have to do is move on, and the ground will be washed out from underneath the exploiters of the world, as they sleep.
If you notice that your presence is enabling the exploiters to continue their exploitation, then all you have to do is ask God to give you the power to relocate yourself, and your roots will become legs upon which you can simply walk away, and they will carry you to where ever the Spirit leads.
Do not be lulled into the false sense of security that the world promises you. The world has become a museum of empty promises, gaslighting, and threats. But you know better than to believe the world's propaganda. You know to walk by faith, and not by sight. God loves you, and He will take care of you so long as you abide in the love of Christ. You do not need anything from the world. It is the world that needs you.
Heaven and earth will pass away; do not pass with it.
In my last article, I put forth the idea that a spiritually healthy community begins with the individual. As individuals, we are all susceptible to spiritual drowsiness, and it is to our mutual benefit and edification that we remain watchful of ourselves and others, so that we can keep each other awake through the dark night, until the day comes and the morning star rises in your hearts (2Peter1:19). This sounds simple enough, but we must keep in mind that in order to awaken our sleeping brothers and sisters, we must first quicken ourselves; lest our effort hit a glass ceiling. Jesus spoke clearly on this:
[Mat 7:1-5 NASB20]  "Do not judge, so that you will not be judged.  "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and look, the log is in your own eye?  "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye!
If we expect to function in Christ, we must not cleave to our judgmental attitudes. Judgment is a necessary part of discernment. One must be able to judge matters for themselves; right from wrong, certainties from uncertainties, even personal biases from cultural biases—if one expects to survive in this turbulent world, one must learn to judge. These judgment calls must be made by individuals, moment-by-moment, so that we can estimate how best to engage our environments, to tease out some form of desired outcome. Consequently, in a world filled with unknowns, honest mistakes are inevitable.
For this reason, judgments must be released from the heart, as quickly as they are taken hold of. A judgment tells us what actions should most likely be taken in response to environmental stimuli; but once a judgment is known, it has no further use on its own. From this point, we can move forward with action, or we can take a moment and inspect the source(s) from which our judgments arise. If we take the time to gain more contextual knowledge and understanding as to how our judgments are formulated, and what role our emotional experiences play in that process, we can then effectively change who we are by virtue of breaking the action-reaction cycles we all form as a byproduct of life beyond childhood.
It’s important to realize that you are a watcher—an experiencer—before you are the experience. As an individual, you are not the cloths you wear or the car you drive. You are not the pains and pleasures which your flesh suffers. You’re not even the body that feels, or the mind that thinks. You are first and foremost the watcher-chooser. Everything else is secondary. You can choose to identify with your cloths, your car, your sensations, emotions, and thoughts. You can choose to toggle between being the experiencer and the experience. These are the liberties that we all share in, as creatures created in the image and likeness of the Most High. We can create, and we can experience our creation in the process (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would call this the Flow state).
With the above realization in mind, you can then know with certainty that even though you may have judgments, you do not have to be your judgment; or perhaps that you have sufficient space within your soul to elect a judgment that is in alignment with your highest values—presumably, faith, hope, and love. Give your heart the wiggle room to change its attitudes towards its beliefs, and you can dance your way into the kingdom of Heaven just as David danced as the Ark of the Covenant was carried into the kingdom of Israel (2 Sam 6:12-15).
If we think about the Lord Jesus Christ, as he was being nailed to the cross—the apex of his physical pain, just before the spiritual and psychological pain he would endure, taking our sins into his own flesh—as Jesus was experiencing these things, he had forgiveness in his heart (Luke 23:34). He could have chosen to have a negative mental attitude towards his oppressors (the book of Job shows that one can be pessimistic and not sin), yet Jesus chose instead to have love in his heart as he prayed for the forgiveness of his enemies.
I don’t mean to say that we should scrub from our awareness, thoughts of pessimism or other forms of negativity, but that we should be willing to experience them so they can be free to leave us. Observe the words of king David on the subject.
[Psa 4:4 NASB20]  Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah
Whether you’re forgiving a neighbor, correcting yourself (and perhaps a brother or sister as well), seeking out deeper understanding, or even looking up for the experience of higher blessings, the mechanism is the same; your knowledge and understanding are the materials you use to construct your attitudes, and your attitudes determine the quality of your experience. Don’t you think it would be wise to develop more flexibility of spiritual countenance, and expand your range of available attitudes?
Here are some general steps to develop more flexibility of countenance:
1. Always check yourself for sin first. Simply ask yourself, “Have I sinned?”, and observe what comes to mind.
• [1Jo 1:9-10 NASB20]  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
- Take the time to understand how you feel about certain things that prompt you to make important judgment calls.
• Are there emotions that need to be felt (Psalm 4:4)?
• Are there matters that need to be more carefully understood?
i. If so, what Spiritual truths are you drawing from?
ii. If wisdom is lacking, simply ask God for it, and watch patiently for the answer (James 1:5-8).
- Give yourself the freedom to love your neighbor as yourself. Repeat this process, and even make it a part of your daily prayer habits. Take in spiritual knowledge regularly. As your understanding deepens, notice how your emotions and attitudes shift from me to we. Rather than being good for the sake of reward, give yourself permission to be good for the sake of the experience.
• [1Co 10:23-24 NASB20]  All things are permitted, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted, but not all things build [people] up.  No one is to seek his own [advantage,] but rather that of his neighbor.
After experiencing at least, a decade’s worth of church culture, I have finally come to some painful experiential realizations (beyond intellectual realization) about the nature of religion in general. These realizations especially include religious Christianity as a whole.
I. Every member of the human race is born into a world, a culture, a society, in which we are told to look to others for moral and spiritual coaching. As a result, church leadership personalities are elevated rather than the office and authority bestowed upon them by God.
II. There is often an over emphasis on community. Instead of having a situation where brothers and sisters serve one another for the sake of loving your neighbor as yourself; I find instead, that many church congregants serve the community itself, for the sake of maintaining a mutually assured sense of safety and comfort.
I understand, not every church community is like this, and as individuals, we all have the tendency to lose perspective regarding our spiritual priorities. It’s all too easy to take our eyes off of Christ, even for a moment, and fall deeply asleep. I recognize that both church leadership and community function largely as a safe-guards against falling into trances for too long. The fact is, we all a share in the obligation to constantly watch ourselves for error, so that we can authentically help our brothers and sisters when they drift off into sleep. The reality is, that you will likely need their help yourself one day.
So the concept of church isn’t evil. I don’t want people to get that idea from my observations. But I do think too many people have drifted off into Slumberland all at once, and it seems to be a highly contagious phenomenon…and much of what we call “The Church”—the Bride of Christ—is beginning to look a lot more like the whore of Babylon (Rev 17).
We can still reverse this trend, or at least mitigate some of the negative consequences we’re creating for ourselves. If we can wake up, and keep pursuing the “kingdom of God and His righteousness” as our first priority (Matt 6:33), then we can take shelter in God, and endure the very real judgement that Christ is about to speak upon our generation.
[Gal 6:7-9 NASB20]  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  Let's not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary.
What can we do then? How do we wake up? The process is simple, maybe not always easy, but simple no less.
- Confess you sins to God when you become aware that you have sinned. If you do not do this, there can be no Spiritual growth in Christ. We must do this as often as necessary. It must become habit.
· [1Jo 1:9-10 NASB20]  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
· Are you unsure if you’ve actually sinned? Confess it anyways, search the scriptures and direct your questions to God in prayer. Keep yourself open to receiving His response.
· For identifying and understanding sin, I highly recommend starting your search with the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5-7.
- Understand that Christ is one with the Holy Spirit, and in that union, Christ is your coach, your advocate, your sponsor**. Pastor-teachers serve as communicators of Spiritual information, but ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who elects to speak through said pastor-teacher, and it is Christ’s anointing that informs your understanding.**
· [1Jo 2:27 NASB20]  And [as for] you, the anointing which you received from Him remains in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you remain in Him.
It is through prayer and Spiritual contemplation upon the Word—and the doctrines that Christ left behind for us through his twelve Apostles—that we can come to a practical understanding of faith**,** expectation**, and** love (1Cor 13:13). We must study the Christ’s own words, the words of His Apostles, and the Old Testament, which foreshadowed everything Christ came to accomplish.
As we grow in Christ, we must also test the spirits behind any message we receive. Is the message consistent with the fact that Christ came to us in the flesh? That He died to take our sins away, so that we could inherit the kingdom of God? Spiritual truth will emphasize what Christ did on our behalf in the flesh, rather than diminish it.
· [1Jo 4:1-3 NASB20]  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the [spirit] of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now it is already in the world.
To sum it all up, these four principles can be found in 2 Timothy: “All scripture is God-breathed, and profitable toward informing, toward discipline, toward making one spiritually upright, and toward training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).”
If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives within you. It is your personal responsibly to God, to yourself, and to your neighbor to 1) be informed in the scriptures, 2) walk in a disciplined manner accordingly (else God will discipline you), 3) become Spiritually upright in all your ways, and 4) fulfill your training in righteousness.
In all, you are to be complete as your Father in heaven is complete (Matt 5:48), for the whole of the Law in Christ is to love your neighbor as yourself (Gal 5:14), and if you stumble, simply acknowledge your sin before God (1John 1:9), for Christ is our advocate (1John 2:1-2) in heaven. This is not too hard for us or beyond our reach (Deut 30:11) so long as we remain in Christ (John 15).
Everyone has faith in something; be it of the religious quality, atheistic, agnostic, or just plain apathetic; the human mind simply cannot function without a basic, ground state level of faith. Like a heart without blood to pump or lungs lacking air to breathe, so too would be a conscious, sentient being without a continuous stream of faith to circulate. To illustrate my point, consider my case as an example: I am alto-phobic. As a young child, I had a traumatic experience with heights that still echoes in my mind to this very day whenever I ascend any higher than the fourth rung of a ladder. That painful experience wrote into my heart a personal axiom: HEIGHTS ARE BAD! That’s faith in action, my friends. Conversely, I can easily roll out of bed and tread about my daily path through this world with a reasonable sense of confidence because I believe without doubt that the ground beneath my feet will keep me from falling. I don’t trust ladders, but I trust the ground…again, this is faith in one of its most elementary forms.
I like to think of faith as analogous to electromagnetism. Like electromagnetism, faith comes in a spectrum of frequencies. This would correspond to the various categories of beliefs that you would accumulate throughout your life. Some ideas are lower frequency, basic, while other ideas are higher frequency, carrying sufficient momentum to impact your reality. Like all waves, faith can also have amplitude. When we speak of sound, amplitude is perceived as loudness, where light has brightness. Similarly, our beliefs can be expressed with great passion or stale mediocrity. When one combines a high-energy idea with the right level of enthusiasm, one could—figuratively speaking—move mountains. This is no mystery. Ask any successful entrepreneur, inventor, author, performer, or professional in any field how they made it, and you will find that a clear vision (frequency) met with sustained passion (amplitude) is the universal formula for success which has stood the test of time. Where there is a will, there is a way, indeed.
Electromagnetic waves come in individualized quantum packets of energy, and in a sense, you can reasonably say that a thought is a quantum unit of consciousness. Single-serving ideas for a single-serving world. If you were to zoom out, away from a single, lone thought, I would hope you’d find that very individual thought to be but a single bump within an entire field bubbling with thoughts…just like the electromagnetic field. Now, extend this field beyond the confines of your own being, and you might find that we all share a common field—an aether of sorts, that some have come to know as the Collective Unconscious, Akashic Records, even, the Noos-sphere. Just like the chaos of the human mind the electromagnetic field can never be completely stilled. In fact, if you attempted to drain all of the energy from any particular region of space, you would still find small, random ground state fluctuations within the electromagnetic field. Nature doesn’t seem to believe in the concept of absolute zero; at least not in the physical realm. In quantum mechanics, these small energy fluctuations are called virtual particles, and the chaos field that these virtual particles occupy is known as the quantum vacuum. We know this field exists because its presence has been detected via decades of experimentation; and one such experiment has revealed to us a most plausible mechanism involving this non-zero energy; the Casimir Effect (named after the brilliant Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir, who predicted the effect in 1948).
I personally find the Casimir Effect fascinating. It essentially demonstrates that when two parallel objects are placed close enough to each other so that the energy fluctuations between the two surfaces are less than that of the chaos surrounding the exterior of the two objects, the parallel objects will experience mutual attraction. Initial versions of these experiments were conducted using two thin metal plates, which were placed so closely together, that the results were difficult to measure; however, later versions of this experiment have confirmed the existence of this mysterious attractive force. You can even observe similar results between two parallel surfaces suspended in agitated water. The larger scale water experiments are much easier to replicate, fun, and much less burdensome to the wallet. Well, you might be wondering at this point: What the hell does any of this have to do with faith?
It has been my consistent, subjective experience that the most fundamental laws of nature seem to permeate all of reality, from the ground up. At times, complexity can act as a veil, concealing the continuity of these universal laws, but I find that if you take the time to lift the veil and examine nature closely, well—you might come to a realization: As above, so below. Your thoughts carry a spiritual momentum, you see. I discovered this to be true when I began digging deeper into spiritual things. I gradually became more and more aware that my thoughts alone played an active role in constructing my reality. Nevertheless, it takes a tremendous measure of faith-momentum just to simply navigate the tumultuous and shadowy recesses of the unconscious chambers of the heart. Many will tell you that the most difficult step in consciously manifesting your reality is simply identifying what you truly desire. Added to this monumental task is the meticulous process of excavating your raw desire(s) from the treasure troves of your heart and carefully refining it into a purified form—free from all slag and external corruption. Solve et coagula unto flawless perfection. It is then, and only then, that you and your new potential reality are staring each other face-to-face, like the two parallel metal plates in the quantum vacuum, surrounded by a sea of chaos. All that’s left to be done is to allow the internal momentum to die out. You have to let go. In order for your present reality and your desired state to merge into one, the energy fluctuations in between the two ‘surfaces’ must first dissipate. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. So much time and energy spent on edifying and detailing your imaginal constructs, and now it must be totally discharged and neutralized. The seed must die before it can sprout; else the energy fluctuations of the outer chaos field will be insufficient to integrate the two parallel realities into a new unified creation. If you hold too tightly to your desires, you’ll choke them out, and they will never become anything more than a day-dream. It would seem that the practice of conscious manifestation is a strange, but harmonious amalgam of artistry and science; yet for the most part, I find that life has its way of naturally discharging excess energy. Not everyone is consciously aware of how to construct and attract the reality that they would prefer, but one way or another, everyone gets the reality that suits their state of mind. It is a true saying; time does heal all wounds—but only if you stop picking at the scabs first.
Nature is an endless library of knowledge, and her secrets are whispered into the wind. “Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors (Proverbs 8:1-3).” Are you listening?
“The things you own, wind up owning you.” That’s probably my favorite movie-proverb among many others. I like that line especially because it has a way of dissolving the delusions that we carry around with us everywhere we go—our lenses by which we see the world—one such delusion being that because we can imagine ourselves as individuals, we are therefore, closed systems, neither receiving nor propagating influence beyond the field of conscious exertion. We don’t know what we don’t see, and therefore what we don’t see controls us. In other words, we’re all hypnotized—sleepwalkers of every variety, locked in the collective trance of the social hierarchy. We are almost entirely concerned with whatever satisfies our sense of conscious fascination, with the result that we almost completely neglect the unconscious; but just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Not only are we so subtly influenced by our physical environment and interactions, but we also unconsciously communicate bits and pieces of our experiences to others. It can take the form of body language, vocal inflection, sudden conversational shifts, or even a subtle change in breathing—in a strange way, humans are very similar to ants in a colony. We have a natural instinct for fitting in and working harmoniously, but somehow, society periodically deviates from such visions of progress, only to enter into alternating cycles of self-destruction. Rather than working to establish a sustainable, reciprocal atmosphere of stability between the individual and society, we oscillate between extremes: Sometimes we build up society in spite of the individual, and sometimes we uphold the individual in spite of society. In either case, the dissonance between society and the individual can become quite pathological within a very short period of time.
There is something wrong with humanity. We need the trances of society to function in harmony with one another, but somehow, human nature has a way of manifesting unnatural results. Every ecosystem has a dominance hierarchy of some kind, and competition within those hierarchies can be ugly, but at least they’re sustainable. In the case of humanity, we seem to be the only species on earth that quite literally has the capacity to bring about its own extinction. It’s a condition that is likely rooted deep within the fine quantum structure of the flesh. It permeates the whole of the body, filters through the psyche, and propagates out into the world abroad. Together we have the capacity to construct the sweetest of paradises, only to cast them down into the abyss of our collective narcissistic passions.
Most of us know that we are better off loving each other as ourselves, yet the flesh is only concerned with self-preservation. How is it that such a legitimate expression of self-love as self-preservation, could become a stumbling block, so severe, even to the most disciplined members of the human race? Our flesh is short-sighted. It is only concerned with homeostasis and reproduction. When left on auto-pilot, the fleshly individual will seek out comforts, vices, and pleasures unto the total dissipation of mind. This state of trancelike slumber is deceptively unsustainable, and it has once again taken possession of our society.
Society is a bit of a double-edged sword. When society is coherent, it can cut cleanly, a path for itself into the future. However, as society loses coherence, the stable order of unity begins to dissolve, and polarities begin to emerge. Thus, a polarized society begins to form echo-chambers, wherein off-centered thinking is gradually “purified” into a network of polarized ideologies. These ideologies then begin to take form within the societal mind, like a hurricane of propaganda giving birth to smaller cyclones—tornadoes which rip apart families, communities, and entire institutions. These polarized cyclones, which emerge from our collective thought-forms, are identities; carefully prepared masks for the masses to wear as they seek out their own manifest destiny…an initiate’s baptism into the futility of darkness.
The collective psycho-social, atmosphere that is our present age is known simply as the Aion. It’s a world-wide prison for the mind. When you find yourself on auto-pilot, thinking polarized thoughts, putting on the masks that society has synthesized for you—when you find yourself doing things that you don’t find at all loving, or even meaningful—then you will know that you have become a prisoner of the Aion, and a slave to the powers of the air.
Wake up quickly! Do not be lulled any longer into the song and dance of the Aion. We have the capacity to recognize the disparity between the self-preservation of the flesh, and the call to operate within the spirit of love for our neighbors as ourselves. We have the ability to acknowledge, investigate, and learn from our failures when we fall short of divine love, and most importantly, we can learn to free ourselves from the Aion, renewing our minds with the knowledge of Christ.
In Adam, we know spiritual death through our misconceptions surrounding good and evil. We assume the identity of “good” and seek out scapegoats to carry off our evil, and in the process, we trample love down, under foot. These ideas become our property, and as a result, we share in that identity. Indeed, the ideas you own, wind up owning you, and the others you ensnare with your ideas become entangled with you. With time, it may become increasingly clear that to some extent, you truly are your brothers’ keeper, and your brother is your keeper too. Whoever wishes to rule must serve as the low is made high. In Adam, we are slaves to the present Aion; slaves unto death. In Christ, we can serve each other in faith, hope, and love. God is Spirit, and those who worship God worship in Spirit and truth. Choose carefully today, over which ideas you claim ownership, for those same ideas will one day possess you.